What Autoimmune Disease
Affects the Joints?
By Annie Lizstan
Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack healthy tissue within the body, thus destroying tissue in the body and resulting in numerous symptoms that cause harm to the human body. There are also different kinds of autoimmune diseases, with each affecting a different part of the body. Medline Plus reports that doctors often find it difficult to diagnose an autoimmune disease as they tend to cause similar symptoms, which makes it difficult to point out a specific disease, thus a treatment plan may also be more difficult to lay out for the patient. They continue to explain that an autoimmune disease causes the body to consider antigens and healthy tissue as the same type of tissue, thus resulting in the antibodies attacking the healthy tissue as well.
Some of the most common types of autoimmune diseases diagnosed on a daily basis by doctors, as reported by WebMD, includes lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, psoriasis and two specific types of arthritis. In some cases, vasculitis, myasthenia gravis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease may also develop as a result of the immune system attacking the healthy tissue of the body. The different kinds of arthritis that are classified as autoimmune diseases are known to affect joints throughout the body, thus causing painful symptoms in some of the most vital parts that we need to use for movement on a daily basis. Other autoimmune diseases that do not form part of the arthritis family have also been associated with joint damage.
One kind of arthritis that is classified as an autoimmune disease is rheumatoid arthritis. This disease causes the immune system’s antibodies to attack joints throughout the body, but it may often also attack other parts of the body, including the eyes, heart, lungs, blood vessels and skin. Mayo Clinic reports that this specific kind of arthritis is different from the most common kind of arthritis, known as osteoarthritis. When a patient has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the lining of the joints in their body is attacked by their immune system, which causes inflammation and often leads to severe pain in affected areas. In the long-term, this type of arthritis causes deformities in the joints, as well as bone erosion.
Fortunately, numerous signs have been detected by medical professionals, thus providing a way to detect the disease at an early stage. If the disease is treated at an early stage, the effects it has on the body can often be slowed down considerably, thus helping the diagnosed patient live a relatively normal life. Mayo Clinic reports that some of the most common signs of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Stiffness in joints – such as in the hands and feet. Joint stiffness is usually worst after prolonged periods of being inactive, as well as in the mornings after waking up.
- Sudden and unplanned weight loss.
- Swollen joints that is tender and warm to the touch.
- Fever that is often also accompanied by fatigue.
Apart from rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis is also considered an autoimmune disease that affects the joints.
Lupus is another autoimmune disease that affects the joints, as well as numerous other parts of the body – including the kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, skin and blood cells. This condition develops when a malfunction occurs in the body’s immune system, thus resulting in the immune system attacking internal organs and tissue. Everyday Health reports that lupus is often very difficult to diagnose as the symptoms it causes usually represent symptoms that are often associated with other types of illnesses. They also report that lupus may cause a variety of harmful effects in the body, including problems with the brain, anemia, blood clotting, kidney failure, hypertension, hallucinations, stroke, seizures, heart disease, infections, lung disease and cancer.
Apart from these harmful effects, lupus often also leads to a condition known as avascular necrosis. This condition causes a restriction in blood supply to bones in the body, which can lead to bone tissue’s death – this may affect not only the bones within the body but also joints, thus decreasing a person’s mobility, as well as their ability to perform day-to-day activities.
The symptoms of lupus can often be relieved significantly when the disease is detected at an early stage. Health Line recommends looking out for signs such as fatigue, unexplained fever, sudden hair thinning and hair loss, skin lesions and rashes, issues with the pulmonary system, kidney inflammation, gastrointestinal problems and swollen joints that are also painful. These symptoms may be caused by a developing autoimmune disease. Thus early diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Autoimmune disease can be harmful to the body. They turn a person’s immune system against the person’s body, thus causing healthy tissue within the entire body to be destroyed. While some of these diseases have unique symptoms, a large number of them share similar symptoms. Thus they may be difficult to diagnose. Several of these diseases also causes the immune system to attack joints, thus causing diseases that gradually deforms joints, causes inflammation and results in pain. Prescription drugs may be very useful for autoimmune diseases, but it is recommended to take extra care when diagnosed with such a disease that effects the joints. Using a supplement, such as JointFlex, may often contribute to a relief of symptoms.
Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and live in Wasilla, Alaska. She always like to explore her ideas about health, fitness and beauty. In her recent period, she got an opportunity to explore joint pain relief. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.